"Captain, you are so predictable that you are nearly transparent in your actions during this game," Spock said, moving the chess piece to the top level. "Checkmate."

"No, it's because you... sit around and play chess against the computer when you're bored," Kirk muttered, reaching for the pieces to put them back on the board. "Again."

"Captain, Beta shift is nearly half over. You must return to your quarters to get some rest."

"And Bones would kill me if he knew I had you up playing chess with me, but I don't care," Kirk retorted, continuing with the chess pieces.

"I am not exerting myself, Captain," Spock said.

True to his word, he had not been out of bed. It made him feel incredibly unproductive, but he knew that Doctor McCoy was correct in saying that he would not benefit himself if he overexerted himself before he was completely healthy.

So, he had been sleeping and, when Kirk had bounded into his quarters at the end of Alpha shift, had joined in a three-dimensional chess competition with him.

"I don't know if that's supposed to be a subtle Vulcan way of saying that I suck at this game or if you're being literal," Kirk said, moving a pawn.

"I was speaking in the literal sense, of course," Spock replied, countering with his own move.

"Of course," Kirk muttered, rolling his eyes with a grin. Whatever he was about to add was cut off by a yawn so large that Spock raised an eyebrow. Kirk, one hand in front of his mouth, waved his free hand dismissively. "The only reason you keep winning is because I'm tired."

"I mentioned that it would be wise for you to get some rest."

Kirk leaned back over the end of the bed, stretching backwards with a groan. "Sleeping's so boring, Spock. I- woah!" With a crashing noise, Kirk had lost his balance and fallen backwards off of the end of the bed.

Both of Spock's eyebrows shot up. "Captain? Are you uninjured?"

"Physically, I'm fine. My pride, however..." Kirk trailed off, not making a move to sit up. "Oh hell, maybe I should go to bed. I'm not gonna win this stupid game when I'm sleep deprived."

"I fail to see how a chess game can be designated as something that is not intelligent."

"Anyone who plays chess against you has a seventy-nine percent chance of feeling 'not intelligent' at the end of it," Kirk replied.

"I believe that is a compliment, Captain."

Kirk snorted. There was some movement from the floor, but Kirk didn't resurface.

Spock didn't question it, instead focussed on moving the chess set to the nightstand next to the bed. When he had transferred the set and turned back around to find that Kirk had not set up yet, he raised an eyebrow again.

"Captain, are you sure that you are unharmed?"

"Yep. I'm just gonna stay here for a few minutes. The floor's actually comfortable."

Spock didn't comment, again, just as he didn't comment when Kirk started snoring a few minutes later.

Spock just resisted the urge to roll his eyes- Vulcans did not adopt that particular human mannerism- and curled up under the blankets, pressing one of his pillows over his exposed ear.

"Good to have you back, Commander," Kirk said, when Spock stepped out of the turbolift and onto the Bridge.

"Captain, you have been in my company for the past three days," Spock said, striding to his station. "There has not been an absence of communication."

Kirk grinned and leaned back in his chair. "Good to have you back on the Bridge, then, Mr Spock."

"I believe the correct response is 'I am glad to be back, Captain'."

The turbolift doors slid open.

"Dammit, Spock, I was talking to you!" McCoy said, stepping onto the Bridge.

Kirk snickered and looked back at the viewing screen, shoulders shaking with now-repressed laughter. (McCoy had shot him what humans called a dirty look.)

"My presence was required on the Bridge," Spock replied simply, eyes intent on the screens in front of him.

"Not immediately, it wasn't," McCoy retorted.

"Doctor, I have allowed you to doctor me for the past three days. I appreciate your services but I assure you that I am fine."

"'My services'? What the hell am I, a prostitute?" McCoy snapped. "I didn't give you permission to leave Sickbay."

"I was not in Sickbay."

"You know I meant, you green-blooded hobgoblin..." he muttered, rolling his eyes. "I still didn't tell you to leave your quarters."

Spock looked across the Bridge to McCoy. "I am not ill. My temperature has returned to thirty-two point eight. I feel healthy. I have even accumulated a surplus of sleep that I would be able to stay awake for longer than usual."

"Yeah, that's great, Spock," McCoy replied. "Jim, dammit, he spends too much time with you. He's starting to act like you."

Spock frowned infinitesimally. McCoy had a spectacular tendency to, to coin a human term, get on his nerves. He had escaped 'Sickbay' only to be said that he acted like Jim Kirk.

... He didn't, did he?

Of course not.

Spock tweaked one of the screens, frowning at one of the readings. "Captain, there is an unusual amount of radiation reading from a star in the next quadrant."

"Really? Finally, something's going on in this place besides shipping around ore and jewels and Rigelian fever." Kirk joined him, peering over his shoulder at the screen.

"Wonderful," McCoy said. "I don't know about you, Jim, but I could do with leave."

"Yeah, yeah, Bones, after we're done with this cargo shit," Jim replied, leaning closer.

Spock leaned out of the way. "Your proximity to the screen is not going to change the radiation readings, Captain."

Kirk grinned and leaned back. "Sorry. Finally something to do besides play chess with you!" He turned and practically bound away to his chair. "Sulu, take us the long way around that star. Spock, I want further readings on that."

"Now wait just a damn minute-" McCoy started.

"Bones, get down to Sickbay and get ready to accept people from the nearby planet for radiation poisoning if necessary."

"... Oh, fine. Spock, don't push it!" With that, McCoy turned back for the turbolift.

"I am not 'pushing it', doctor," Spock said, his attention already on the radiation information.

"Uhura, open a channel with the Lotherian group on that planet. Spock, I need to know if it's entered their atmosphere yet."

"I am calculating the distance it has travelled. I require a moment to analyze," Spock replied.

Maybe Doctor McCoy had been correct in thinking that he was similar to Captain Kirk. While Spock did not think that he was anywhere near as emotional, sentimental, foolhardy, hyperactive, cocky... anything that made Captain Kirk Captain Kirk... Spock had to admit that he had sorely... missed the action that came from being on the Bridge of the USS Enterprise with Jim Kirk as its Captain. Laying back and letting others take care of problems was not his style. He would much rather be in the middle of it- not commanding it, but standing by to assist- and he was very like Jim Kirk in the sense that he thrived on Starfleet's action.

It wasn't very Vulcan worthy. But...

"Captain, the readings that I am analyzing seem to indicate some radiation has entered their atmosphere. Evacuation will be necessary immediately," he said, straightening up.

"Uhura, that channel-"

"There's too much interference, Captain, I can't get through."

"Shit. Sulu, belay last order. We're going down there."

Spock looked towards his Captain. "Captain, I do not believe that that is a beneficial action-"

"Duly noted, Spock, now go suit up!"

Spock stared at the back of Kirk's blonde head for a moment, eyebrow climbing up in near exasperation, before he nodded. "Yes, sir."

He would not have this any other way. He would not want to be anywhere else. His duty was aboard the Enterprise, with Jim Kirk at his side. Through Rigelian Kassaba fever, cargo ships, or radiation poisoning, these were his... friends.

These people were a part of his family, and the Enterprise would always be home.

So I started playing the Star Trek video game (look, if you don't like it, don't tell me about it. I know it got bad reviews, and yes, there's certain things I don't like, but I like it as a whole) and the chess scene in the game influenced the first part of this chapter. And maybe just a bit too sentimental for nu!Spock at the end of this chapter, but I had to do something all warm and fuzzy. I'm sorry for those who wanted more SpUhura (? whatever you guys call it). I just couldn't do it. :p

For the anonymous reader who was asking about a story request: sorry, no; I don't (generally) do stories with OCs.

I hope you all liked this story (and there's another sick!fic planned, but not like this...) and if you read it, liked it, didn't like it, etc, drop a review if you feel so inclined. As usual, I don't own this. Thank you!

Live long and prosper.